A varied week this week with not so much running (just can’t fit it in; one long one to come next weekend, honest!) and a bit of officiating and supporting.

Monday – Karen from running club is a big Strava art fan and to celebrate our London marathon folk and wish them on their way, she devised an Easter Bunny route for people to do. As most of the people were a bit speedier than me, I arranged to meet three friends a bit early, and we popped round the route starting 15 minutes before the others. They never did catch us (waiting for each other to regroup and taking photos) so we were able to photograph them and cheer them coming up the final hill. I was a clever bunny (haha) and asked Trudie to take a pic of me powering up the hill; as I didn’t know when she was taking it, I had to run the whole way!

Proof I ran up the hill (by Trudie). This isn’t the whole of the hill; we’ve already come up some of it. The end of both running club summer routes.

You will remember Claire, who I’ve done a lot of long runs and recovery runs with this year – she was there and here she is, followed by Karen and Anna, powering up the hill!

Claire on the hill

And we did it, even without Karen to guide us, and even managed something of an eye, which was quite tricky!

Strava art Easter Bunny!

0.6 miles, 11:12 mins per mile / 5.1 miles, 13:50 mins per mile / 0.6 miles 11:25 mins per mile

Wednesday – Went for an early run with Jenny. I called this varied efforts, as I attempted to run with interval sprints up to meet her, some of it up a hill, which was quite sapping, then we had a lovely run/walk round for a couple of miles and then I ran home, trying to maintain a higher speed and cadence for a sort of tempo session. I enjoyed the bit in the middle best!

I was pleased to get my cadence up over 170 (I know the ideal is over 180, I just don’t think my legs go that fast) and it did feel good to push myself a bit.

Pace and cadence I was pleased with

and I was chuffed with my first mile (11:09, downhill on average) and last mile (11:19, uphill on average) and last 0.3 (10:34 average pace).

“Only happy when I’m running” t-shirt: not entirely true. I liked the colour coordination, though.

Jenny and I then reconvened at Easy Dave yoga – I was really struggling and nearly gave up, then at the end, Jenny said she had really stiff legs, too, so it was the running, not entirely me. Phew!

5.3 miles, 12:30 mins per mile

Thursday – I was a bit anxious about my first outdoor track and field event of the season – it was the first Midlands Veterans’ League (South division) match of the season and, as I did for the final last year, I was subbing in as Sparkhill Harriers’ contributed official, freeing up one of their athletes to compete and getting me experience and practice. Would I have forgotten all I learned last year? We were running the high jump, so had two sessions with two competitions in each: women’s 35 and 50 and men’s 40 and 50. You can go down an age group but not up, so we had over 40s competing in the 35s etc but it all shook itself out in the end. I do like doing high jump and with only three of us, I got to do calling up, marking the score sheet and (under supervision) working out who’d won (this can get complicated in high jump!). Good fun and very good-humoured and matey. I even got a cuppa and a biscuit in our break!

High jump about to be prepared for competition

The rain pretty well held off and I’ve never been to Stourport-on-Severn before: a really nice facility there. Well done to Sparkhill and also my friend Chris from club who was competing for Midlands Masters (made up of folk like us who belong to a first club that doesn’t do track and field) in the triple jump etc (rather him than me!).

Friday – One of our ladies was feeling a bit low about her (lack of) running and asked if anyone could accompany her to see if she could do 5k continuously. And she did! Hooray! With running up to the park and back again I was pleased to get to 5.1 miles and I bust a gut to race to get the 5 done in 60 mins, which I did. Pleased to be up to 16.7 for the week so far with parkrun to go.

5.1 miles, 12 mins per mile

Saturday – On Friday I set off down to my best friend, Emma’s, house to spend some time with her and also support friends at the London Marathon (more clubmates than I realised were doing it, plus folk from other clubs). Emma runs for her fitness but had never run with other people, but I persuaded her to give parkrun a try. We visited Ally Pally (Alexandra Palace in North London) and had a very enjoyable time – a warm welcome from the run director and volunteers. As predicted, Em saw someone she recognised, I ran into someone from club (hello, Andy!) and I met someone who knows my friend Dave Johnson (everyone knows Dave, especially if there’s a Yorkshire connection). Emma didn’t not enjoy it, which was great – she zoomed off ahead and did really well, especially as there were varied surfaces to run on (good practice for me!).

Liz and Emma, wrapped up warm, pre-parkrun (sorry my new camera seems to blur us!)

I was of course interested in the arrangements: they’d turned their old tabards into bunting for the funnel (see background above), had little yellow flags to act as pointers, and asked runners to sort their barcodes into a box!

Barcode pre-sorting!

It was a challenging course and I was pleased that I walked up and down the hard hills less on the second lap, and got a sprint in at the end (Andy came round to run me in, which was lovely!):

Ally Pally parkrun details

3.1 miles, 12:14 mins per mile

Sunday – Time to support the London Marathon. We got down to Westferry by 10 and got in position at Mile 14.5. After seeing some of the wheelchairs, the para athletes and the elite women, the helicopters circled again, the official vehicles sped by (I got a glimpse of Graham, who trained me in Endurance and who I was working with on Thursday) and there were the elite men including Mo Farah (so I cried). I managed to spot my friend Shaun doing his second marathon in a few weeks (getting a 2:50 after his 2:43 in Paris!) and a few of our lads, plus Bournville folk, lots of other Midlands club runners, the only Swifts runner in official kit in the race, Ceri who is an ex-Kings Heathen now running in Norwich, Sarah who I did the 18 miler with and then Claire (who you will remember from other pics in here and above) and her sister Rachel:

Claire and Rachel over half way!

Claire refuelled from the bag she’d given me in the week in Birmingham, we had some pics, then off they went …

Off they go!

Emma and I nipped down to Canary Wharf to use the loos and then I came back and waited at Mile 20.5 – I saw Sarah again and then Claire and Rachel, still going strong, more refuelling and off they went again. I waited a while, shouting everyone’s name I could see and wishing them well – though I missed a clubmate pacing the 6 hour time.

Not unhappy with my mileage this week, given that I had to fit it in during the week. One more long one this coming weekend before prepping for the marathon, I think …

Miles this week: 19.8 Miles this year: 378.2.

weekly-run-down-final-300x300The Weekly Run Down is run by two wonderful running women and joined by lots of other inspirational women. Kim’s weekly wrap is here and Deborah’s is here.